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(526 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Peter
[German Version] According to Indian tradition, the Upaniṣads generally define Vedānta, the “end” or “ultimate goal” of the Veda. Vedānta is associated specifically with philosophical and religious schools that deal with the interpretation of the Upaniṣads ( uttara mīmāṃsā). The central issue of Vedānta is to comprehend Brahman as the causative principle of the world and to develop a method for final deliverance from the cycle of existence (Saṃsāra). All schools of Vedānta accept the Brahmasūtra (2nd/3rd cent. ce; Sūtra) as the primary authoritative text for these purpos…


(329 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Peter
[German Version] Śaṅkara (Śaṃkara, Shankara; c. 7th–8th cent. ce, India), founder of so-called kevalādvaita, historically the most influential school of Vedānta (Hinduism: I, 1). Historically accurate information about Śaṅkara’s life is not immediately available. Myths and legends glorifying his ministry were spread by biographies canonized in the 14th–18th centuries. Śaṅkara, a reincarnation of Śiva, is said to have been the son of a South Indian Brahmin, a student of Govinda, who had himself been a stu…